If there is a noticeable uptick in DVD sales of "Miracle" in the next week then Disney can likely thank T.J. Oshie. With the United States and Russia facing off in the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Oshie starred in an instant classic that had fans thinking not just of the "Miracle On Ice" at the 1980 Olympics but also of the film it inspired.
Thanks in part to a Russian goal being controversially waved off during the third period, the rivals headed into overtime and eventually a shootout on Saturday in a preliminary round matchup at the Bolshoy Ice Dome. After taking and making the U.S. team's first shot in the shootout, the 27-year-old St. Louis Blues forward from Warroad, Minn., watched as teammates James van Riemsdyk and Joe Pavelski were both denied by Russian goalie Sergei Bobrovsky. From that point on, U.S. coach Dan Bylsma left the fate of his team on the stick of Oshie.
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As Bylsma kept Oshie on the ice for attempt after attempt during the shootout, hockey fans were reminded of a classic scene from "Miracle" in which U.S. coach Herb Brooks, portrayed by Kurt Russell, delivered an inspirational speech while putting his team through a grueling postgame workout ahead of the 1980 Games. To the delight of everyone who loves hockey, movies and movies about hockey, Kyle Scott of Philadelphia sports blog CrossingBroad.com created a video splicing Oshie's performance with Brooks' speech in the film.
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For those who missed "Miracle," below is a look at the scene referenced.
"When you pull on that jersey, you represent yourself and your teammates and the name on the front is a hell of a lot more important than the one on the back," Brooks said in the film. "Get that through your head! Again!"
Again and again, Oshie skated in on Bobrovsky. He would be turned aside with his second shootout attempt, score again on his third and fourth attempts. With a chance to win the game, he would be stopped on his fifth attempt. After U.S. goalkeeper Jonathan Quick stopped Ilya Kovalchuk, Oshie then skated toward Bobrovsky, again. He slotted a forehand shot between Bobrovsky's legs to seal the 3-2 win.
At that point, Oshie wasn't sure he could have gone again.
"I was just thinking of something else I could do, trying to keep him guessing," Oshie told reporters after it was all over, via The Associated Press. "Had to go back to the same move a couple times, but I was glad it ended when it did. I was running out of moves there."
(H/T Kyle Scott)